Fish Oil should be an essential in all of our diets for two basic reasons; The stuff is they key to our health being kept in balance and we simply don’t eat enough oily fish nowdays or have any other good sources of Omega 3’s.
I have been taking fish oil for years now but the last time I stopped for a while the consequences were more than noticeable. It was a few years ago when working in a summer camp. Obviously my intake of supplements had gone down to zero since I didn’t bring any along anyhow I continued training as usual and eating the poor diet which was devoid of fish. After about a 2 weeks I started to notice my joints became extremely sore especially during and shortly after weight training. At first I didn’t take much notice and put it all down to the damp weather, as the soreness got worse and worse I started thinking about what had changed in the last few weeks. Back at home I had only been taking 2 things which were 5-10 caps of fish oil per day and a Multi-Vitamin (which I was still taking every morning with breakfast. It hit me then that it was possible the inflammation I was getting as result of lacking my daily fix of fish oil was causing the problem.
On the next trip to Wal-Mart I picked up a mega bottle of fish oil caps and started popping them with breakfast and lunch. Within days my mood was up and my joints had no aching whatsoever, this was the moment I realized that Fish Oils really are essential and the talk we hear about them all the time is not hype but the truth. Here are my top 5 reasons you need to take your fish oil…….
1 - Lift Your Mood
There are a host of studies showing how Omega 3’s and especially DHA is essential to proper brain function and mood. I for one have noticed that mood is vastly improved when I am taking my Fish Oil not only mood though, my general feeling of well being all go up as well as resistance to things that would usually stress me out.
Check out this from Mike Roussell which shows the power Fish Oil can have:
I have a friend who suffered from bipolar depression (heavier on the depression than the mania). He started taking 10grams of fish oil a day, and started controlling his insulin levels (via the Zone Diet) and within a couple months all his symptoms went away. He now takes 5 grams of EPA/DHA a day, has no symptoms, and takes no meds.
Pretty amazing stuff and to me this is the main reason to take your fish oil, what good is a healthy body without a healthy and happy mind?
2 - Keeps You Limber
This is the classic reason to take your fish oil. I bet if you ask anyone over 70 about fish oil all they can remember is being given a spoonful every morning as a child as it would help keep their joints healthy. Well there is a lot of truth behind this Omega 3 fatty acid contained in fish oil is a potent Anti-Inflammatory and can help keep your joints supple and inflammation free, they also interestingly enough help your body handle pain.
The omega-3 fats in fish oil safeguard your joints by counteracting a family of enzymes that attack cartilage. Omega-3s also boost your body’s levels of the chemicals that minimize painful, damaging inflammation.
Both very useful things when your doing a lot of sports or walking…..Your joints need to be as healthy as they can be and a spoonful of fish oil will do the trick.
3 - Increase Your Metabolism
This one is really cool, by simply taking your fish oil everyday you could rev up your metabolism and make your body burn more calories with NO effort whatsoever! this is mainly thanks to its ability to switch ON your fat burning mechanism and switch OFF your fat storage genes.
This is also partly in thanks to its ability to blunt insulin levels in the body and as we know high insulin levels make your body cling to fat and try and store the food you eat as fat.
4 - Bust Your Stress
Omega 3’s have the ability to supress the activation of stress hormone’s through trying times. To put it in a nut shell if your stressed out and angry your body will release less of the negative cascade of hormones if you have been taking your fish oil on a regular basis.
After 3 weeks of a diet supplemented with n-3 (omega 3) fatty acids, the stimulation by mental stress of plasma epinephrine, cortisol, energy expenditure, and plasma non esterified fatty acids concentrations, were all significantly blunted.
Another supplement that will have this effect is Vitamin C which also blunts the stress hormone cortisol, so remember to pop some with meals when your stressed out or going through a difficult period.
5 - Cheap and Easy
If your going to take one supplement make it fish oil. Its proven to be the most effective supplement on the market and its cheap and easy to get hold of. I would recommend that you get a bottle of Cod Liver Oil and take 1-2 TBSP’s per day. The added benefit you get from CLO is that it has Vitamin D (which is so important especially in these winter months) and you get some Vitamin A ( Forgotten Nutrient Anyone…… )
Take 1-2 TBSP’s of Fish Oil a day on a regular basis
Keep the Stuff in the Fridge
Buy a good brand (Nordic Naturals are great)
Always take it after food (preferably a meal containing fat)
A bottle which will cost you $5-10 will last you for over a month and will allow you to feel some real benefits. Its a shame we can’t say that for many other supplements on the market today.